Your Jury Duty: Which Dog Is Guiltiest in This Photo Lineup?

You submitted photos of your baddest dogs. Let's vote on who's the most adorably guilty!


Dogs can be masters of getting into trouble. But then again, how do you explain to an unabashed hedonist that the plastic container in the kitchen filled with delicious smells and food scraps is not a buffet? How do you explain that your gorgeous, fine Italian leather shoes are not actually the world’s most sumptuous chew toys? How do you explain that you’re just going to the grocery store (for more dog food) and will be back in 15 minutes so there’s no need to tear up the couch cushions in wild desperation?

You can’t. You can train around these issues, but you can’t sit a dog down and say, “Listen, Sparkles, the litter box is not a candy dispenser, despite whatever you may think.”

Which is exactly why dogs don’t actually feel “guilt.” As some of you pointed out, their “guilty” expressions are actually submissive, placating behavior, similar to what you might see among wolves when the leader’s hackles are raised. They sense we’re upset and try to defuse the mood with flat ears, droopy tail, and big, wide eyes.

So we can’t be mad at them. It’s our fault we left the trash out. It’s our fault we didn’t put away our shoes. It’s our fault we haven’t worked on Buster’s separation anxiety. So what’s left to do? Laugh about it.

Now, you be the judge and jury! Which one of these dogs is the most adorably guilty? Click the “Vote” icon in the corner of the photo to make your selection.

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